Even from a safe distance, when a rocket three times your height roars up from the Salt Flats to 25,000 feet in less than a minute, you feel a blast of heat, you feel the ground shake and you feel raw excitement.
HellFire, sponsored by the Utah Rocket Club (UROC), is one of few remaining events where launching rockets to that height is even permitted. UROC must obtain special clearance for the event, which takes place this year August 2-5, 2018.
Though HellFire is technically an amateur launch, we’re talking serious rocketry here. Participants from around the country launch rockets ranging from foot-tall wonders to towering monsters that weigh in at over 100 pounds, feature high-tech electronics, use a propellant similar to that used on the space shuttle, and lift off with hundreds of pounds of pure thrust.
Now in its 23rd year, HellFire continues to grow. Many people attend not to launch, but simply for the thrill of watching. Between launches, visitors enjoy examining rockets and components close-up and speaking with the experts who build and launch them.
Admission to HellFire is free and the public is welcome to come watch.
HellFire will be held on the Bonneville Salt Flats near Wendover, Utah. Take Exit 4 on Interstate 80 and follow easy-to-spot signs. The event takes place 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, August 2 through Sunday, August 5.
Tips for visitors:
According to UROC insiders, Saturday is the day “where it starts getting crazy” with “lots of flights.”
All launch plans are subject to weather. Visitors are encouraged to check www.uroc.org BEFORE driving out to the launch.
There are no food or drink vendors at the event, so UROC reminds visitors to bring binoculars, hats, chairs, shade, lots of sunscreen, food and snacks, and plenty of drinking water.
UROC strongly encourages spectators to leave their pets at home, this is not a pet friendly environment.
For information about the Utah Rocket Club, visit www.uroc.org